Some seeds germinate very reluctantly. And all because the hard shell and the essential oil coating are the protective mechanisms of nature aimed at preserving the species. After all, if the purchased seeds germinate before the winter cold, the sprouts will die and, as a result, the plant will be listed in the Red Book as an endangered rare specimen.

For the germination of tight seeds, experts have developed a method of stratification (exposure to cold) and a method of heat treatment — pouring boiling water. These methods cannot be used for seeds with a short germination period — they will not sprout faster, but they will die — for sure.

The following plants have tight seeds:

  • most trees and shrubs;
  • a number of ornamental and flowering plants — aquilegia, petunia, viola, lavender, delphinium, eustoma, lupine, mallow, marigolds, pansies, cloves (Chinese, Turkish, Shabo);
  • vegetables — zucchini, pumpkin, eggplant, peppers, late-ripening tomatoes;
  • berry and other crops — strawberries, parsnips, celery, mint.

Features of the «seeds in boiling water» method

Hot water softens and cracks the seed coat, making it easier for the sprout to grow. But if you are still cautious about new methods, the effectiveness can be tested on old expired seeds — the non-viable ones will die, and the «sleeping» ones will suddenly rise and show excellent results. The resulting seedlings will be strong, healthy and will show surprisingly high yields and lush flowering results.

The method is safe, since water with a temperature of 70-80 ° is used for the strait, which also cools slightly when passing through the soil layer.


Hot pour technique

  • Prepare plastic containers, preferably with lids. Make holes for draining water (you can burn it with a hot knitting needle).
  • Fill containers with loose nutrient soil.
  • Pour hot water several times and wait for excess moisture to drain.
  • Spread the seeds over the surface and lightly press into the substrate.
  • Cover with cling film and lid, place in a plastic bag.
  • Wrap with a towel or other soft cloth to create greenhouse conditions.
  • Put on a heating battery or radiator for 40-50 minutes (no more than an hour — otherwise the soil will dry out).
  • Take off the towel. Use the lid as a drip tray. Without removing the film, transfer the crops to a bright room with a temperature of 23-25 ​​° and leave until germination.
  • Give fresh air daily, remove condensate, check the humidity of the substrate. If necessary, moisten by spraying — so as not to wash out the crops.
  • After germination, remove the film. Pick as usual — at the stage of 2-3 true leaves.


Method Variations

  • Seeds can be immediately embedded in the substrate and only then shed. The method requires accuracy, since the seeds can float until the water has left through the holes. The growth rate remains the same.
  • Instead of soil, you can use 8-10 layers of paper towels — the seed germination rate will decrease, seedlings will appear later.
  • Place the seeds for 20-30 minutes in a thermos with hot water — T 50-60 °. Dry and sow the seeds for seedlings in the usual way. The method allows you to wash off the protective essential oil layer, but does not soften the shell. Seeds will not germinate as quickly as we would like.

Benefits of the boiling water method

  • The process takes no more than an hour.
  • Seed germination tends to 100%. Sprouts appear together.
  • There is no need for treatment with growth stimulants — hot water stimulates the awakening of sprouts.
  • Seeds do not need to be disinfected — heat treatment kills pathogenic bacteria.
  • Seedlings are strong, healthy and prepared for planting in open ground.

Now you know how to use heat treatment to germinate hard seeds. We hope that this material will help you get a good harvest. And how to select seeds in a new way, read our article.

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